Span placed on DL with inner-ear infection

Twins' Span placed on disabled list

MINNEAPOLIS -- After having played the past six games with fewer than 25 players at his disposal, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire couldn't think of going many more games without a full roster.

So the news that Denard Span wouldn't be ready to play until at least the weekend meant only one thing -- a stint on the disabled list.

The Twins placed Span on the DL with an inner-ear infection after Tuesday's 8-2 win over the Pirates and recalled outfielder Jason Pridie from Triple-A Rochester.

Span saw another doctor Tuesday in an attempt to determine what has been causing his dizziness, and he was diagnosed with vestibular neuritis in his right ear, which is a viral infection of the vestibular nerve in the inner ear. That nerve carries information from the inner ear to the brain regarding things like balance and head movement.

Span was put on medication to help treat the infection and hopefully clear up some of his symptoms.

"We talked to the doctors, and they said the earliest we might be able to see him get out on the field would be this weekend some time," Gardenhire said. "So we're just going to give him the extra days."

Since the move was made retroactive to June 10, Span will be eligible to come off the DL on Thursday, June 25. Gardenhire said there is a possibility that Span could be sent out on a Minor League rehab assignment after the weekend to get some at-bats. All of that, of course, will depend on Span's health.

"We're going to take care of the young man and make sure we get him going," Gardenhire said.

With Span out for Tuesday's game against the Pirates, infielder Matt Tolbert was the only backup outfield option available on the bench.

The addition of Pridie will give the club the extra outfielder that it has been lacking since Span left the team in Oakland last Tuesday following his latest dizzy spell. Pridie batted .255 with 11 doubles, two home runs and 19 RBIs in 60 games for the Red Wings this season. He's expected to join the Twins in time for Wednesday's contest against the Pirates.

The Twins had been down to just 23 players for Sunday's series finale against the Cubs due to Span being out and Michael Cuddyer being sidelined with a finger injury. But the club regained one of those players Tuesday, as Cuddyer was back in the lineup for the contest against the Pirates.

Cuddyer missed the final two games of the Cubs series due to his right index finger swelling up again. The outfielder flew back to the Twin Cities on Sunday and received a cortisone shot in his finger from Dr. Tom Varecka, a hand specialist.

Cuddyer, who originally injured the finger on May 31 in a game at Tampa Bay, said that his finger felt "better than the day before it got hurt again."

"Just being able to get back out on the field is nice," Cuddyer said. "I thought I was moving in the right direction going to that game in Chicago. So just to wake up at 1:30 in the morning [on Saturday] and for it to be swollen is what was frustrating."

In addition to Cuddyer returning to the lineup Tuesday, third baseman Joe Crede was also back playing after missing Sunday's contest with a stiff lower back. Crede said that his back was feeling much better after having Sunday and Monday to give it a break.

"Just giving it a couple days' rest really helped out," Crede said.

Gardenhire said the club will continue to monitor Crede, who has undergone two back surgeries in the past two years, and make sure to give the third baseman rest on days like Sunday, when his back is hurting.

"With that kind of injury and the situation, you just are going to have to play it game-by-game to see where he's at," Gardenhire said. "He gets tired of it. I would rather have him come by and say, 'I'm hurting today.' That's what I've asked him to do, and that's what he's going to do."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.